When you compare this to other industries, such as Hollywood, what you get is a much more passive audience. Most cinema-goers don't bother spending a great deal of time reading about upcoming movies or analysing the latest critical reviews. Instead, they listen to marketing or friends, or even just attend the cinema as an event unto itself, rather than specifically go to watch a particular film. Therefore we see a weaker correlation between critical and commercial success in Hollywood than we do in the games industry. This is something we are already losing with the diversification of the market and broader appeal of the medium.
However, if of course our increasingly less nerdy, niche hobby is to become something a little more acceptable, then we are already on the way. The shift from the scary black heavyweights of the Xbox and PlayStations to the more user-friendly Wii, Nintendo portables, and iOS devices mean that more people than ever are finding an accessible route into gaming. The plethora of these 'gateway drugs' is on the rise, and many people are organically making the shift from Angry Birds to Call of Duty. Give someone a 13-buttoned controller and tell them to capture the flag and it's understandable that the industry is cast in an unusual, less-acceptable light. However, give them a quick go on Wii Sports, Peggle, New Mario Bros., or Bejewelled and in time, the logical conclusion of play will result in them less fearful of games like Halo. So, swamp the market with gateway drugs (iOS devices, 3DS, Wii) and people will slowly be more accepting of the hardcore ones (X360, PS3, PSP).
What I think will help is a continued removal of barriers of entry. The most amazing and potentially game-changing thing that nobody seems to talk about is OnLive's partnership with Vizio and HTC. If OnLive can become as appliance-ubiquitous as Netflix now is, then many people will have access to games without having to proactively invest in expensive dedicated hardware (be it a high-performance gaming PC, a home console, a handheld, or even an iPod Touch). This trojan-horse can lead to random impulses of "let's try this built-in game thing" which may hopefully lead to new gamers and consumers.
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